ACTOR With rumpled allure and a wicked sense of humor (He's one of the few people who can make me blush," says his Forces of Nature costar Sandra Bullock), Ben Affleck is, in Armagedoon producer jerry Bruckheimer's words, "a unique cobination of all-American kid and sexy bad boy." He's also way casual about appearances. While others gush over everything from his smile ("Its mischievous," say Chasing Amy's Joey Lauren Adams) to the Native American tattoo on his choulder ("So beautiful," says Forces costar Meredithy Scott Lynn), Affleck himself "will walk past a reflective surace, take a glance and move on," says Kevin Smith, who directed him in 1997's Chasing Amy and the forthcoming, controversial Dogma.

But the Cambridge, Mass.-bred Affleck did fine tune his act by the time he began work on last summer's mage hit Armageddon. For the role of space hero, the film's porducers had him slim down, pump up the pecs on his 6'2" frame and get his teeth capped. Recalls Smith: "When I saw him in the dailies for 1997's Going All the Way I said, "Oh, my God, you are a movie star!" He was just cut and buile and he had matinee-idol looks." The effect apparently isn't lost on the 26 year old actor, who has remained unattached since his january breakup with Gwyneth Paltrow. Though Affleck vowed to retrun to his burgers-and-beer regimen after filming... well, some promises are better not kep."That dude's Diet Coke all the way," says Smith.

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